Fluor has won a $1 billion contract with Usec - a supplier of enriched uranium fuel for commercial nuclear power plants - to provide engineering, procurement, construction and construction management services for the American Centrifuge plant.
The contract will run from 2008-2012, and grants Fluor a fixed fee plus costs. Fluor can also earn an incentive fee based on cost savings produced. The contract represents a significant part of the $3.5 billion project budget for the uranium enrichment plant.
Scheduled to begin commercial operations in late 2009, with peak capacity reached in 2012, the American Centrifuge Plant will be one of a rash of new uranium enrichment plants in the USA. Urenco's National Enrichment Facility in New Mexico should also start up in 2009, while Areva are planning to build a facility in Idaho using the same technology under licence. Meanwhile GE-Hitachi looks likely to develop a laser-based facility in North Carolina sometime after 2013.
The American Centrifuge plant will be based on gas centrifuge technology originally developed by the US Department of Energy but with design, material and manufacturing improvements. Usec began its centrifuge program at Oak Ridge in 2001 and has been testing and manufacturing individual machine components since 2005.
The American Centrifuge Project is projected to comprise some 11,500 AC100 machines at completion, which would provide about 3.8 million separative work units (SWU) of production based on current estimates of machine output and plant availability.
Flour has been working with Usec on the American Centrifuge plant since May 2004, when they were contracted to provide design, engineering, procurement and construction services for the demonstration facility, and initial design and construction services for the plant itself. This contract will see the project through to an advanced stage of construction.